It’s hard to find fault with Buffalo’s new MiniStation Extreme, as the drive provides good performance and features at a competitive price.

Our 1TB drive came in black, but the drive is also available in 500GB capacity and in a variety of different colours. It’s a little chunkier than most of its portable rivals, but that’s because of the military-standard shock-proof casing that is designed to withstand drops of up to 2.3m.

There’s additional protection for your data too, in the form of 256bit encryption, so the MiniStation Extreme is certainly a good choice for keeping all your important data safe. We also like the tidy, built-in USB cable that slots into the body of the drive when not in use.

Performance is good too, with overall sequential read and write speeds of 116.90MBps and 109.70 MBps respectively, which give it an edge over all its portable rivals. Performance with small files is more modest, but still among the best in this group, and Buffalo also provides a good set of software features, including backup software and a RAMdisk utility in addition to its encryption and password features.

Important hard drive news:

One point to note is that the hard disk prices are going up and down like a yo-yo at the moment. The floods that hit Thailand this autumn are to blame – hard disk production was down by more than 50 percent in October. Most of the main hard disk manufacturers have factories in Thailand and one manufacturer taking part in this group test told us that its entire production line “is under water”.

Scarcity of supply inevitably means that prices will rise. The prices we quote in this review were current as we went to press, but more than ever we’d advise you to shop around and see what prices you can find online. Still, acts of nature aside, people are always going to need external drives to back up their important files and delaying a purchase now could cost you dearly if your PC encounters a natural disaster of its own while you’re waiting for prices to come back down.

Buffalo MiniStation Extreme: Specs

  • 1TB
  • 2.5" SATA
  • 5400rpm
  • 5Gbps
  • USB 3.0
  • 256-bit encryption, Backup, RAMdisk
  • 18x89x128mm, 230g
  • 1TB
  • 2.5" SATA
  • 5400rpm
  • 5Gbps
  • USB 3.0
  • 256-bit encryption, Backup, RAMdisk
  • 18x89x128mm, 230g

OUR VERDICT

Bufallo gets all the basics right with the MiniStation Extreme. Its rugged design, good performance and attractive price make it an excellent choice for anyone who needs a reliable portable disk.

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